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NFL Week 1: Sunday Games Preview and Open Thread

The Patriots are already 1-0. Today, 13 teams try to join them in the ranks of undefeated teams.

Stephen Gostkowski kicked off the first game of the first week of the 2015 NFL season.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked off the first game of the first week of the 2015 NFL season.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For 26 NFL franchises the 2015 season starts today. Patriots fans can relax and take a look at upcoming opponents, rivals or other interesting teams and players, knowing that their team did its job during Thursday's season opener.

13 games take place today, with seven of those starting at 1:00 p.m. ET. Those contests are as follows:

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts Buffalo Bills
bills
0-0 (AFC South) 0-0 (AFC East)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park NY

One of the AFC's best offenses faces one of the AFC's best defenses in a game that's especially intriguing for Patriots fans: the Colts are one of the conferences top teams and a playoff contender, while the Bills are a division rival (and possible playoff contender). New England faces the Bills next week and the Colts in week 6.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

packers
Green Bay Packers Chicago Bears
bears
0-0 (NFC North) 0-0 (NFC North)
1:00 PM ET (FOX)
Soldier Field, Chicago IL

The long-time NFC North rivals face off in Chicago to start the season. The Bears under new head coach John Fox have tried to revamp their defense during the offseason and the unit will face its first big test of the year today. In 2014, the Packers scored 38 and 55 points in the team's two meetings. Today, however, Aaron Rodgers will have to try duplicating past success without wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who is injured reserve with a torn ACL.

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs Houston Texans
texans
0-0 (AFC West) 0-0 (AFC South)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)
NRG Stadium, Houston TX

Two AFC hopefuls meet in Houston today as Andy Reid's Chiefs play against former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien's Texans. The game that will feature former Patriots both on the field (quarterback Brian Hoyer and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork) and off it (O'Brien, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, linebacker coach Mike Vrabel, backup quarterback Ryan Mallett). Fun fact: before moving to Kansas City from Dallas, the Chiefs were known as the Texans.

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

browns
Cleveland Browns New York Jets
jets
0-0 (AFC North) 0-0 (AFC East)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ

The Browns travel to New Jersey to face a Patriots division rival. The Jets under first-year head coach Todd Bowles look like a potent team on defense – featuring former Patriot Darrelle Revis – while they still have questions on offense. The most important one: will quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick be able to produce in Chan Gailey's system?

Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars

panthers
Carolina Panthers Jacksonville Jaguars
jaguars
0-0 (NFC South) 0-0 (AFC South)
1:00 PM ET (FOX)
EverBank Field, Jacksonville FL

The Panthers and Jaguars play in arguably the two weakest divisions in the entire league. While Carolina has been in the playoffs last year and even advanced to the Divisional Round, they have won only four more games than the 3-13 Jaguars. The Panthers try to return to the playoffs and their quest begins today against a team, that has not won a season opener since 2011.

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams

Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams
rams
0-0 (NFC West) 0-0 (NFC West)
1:00 PM ET (FOX)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis MO

The defending NFC Champion Seahawks travel east to face the Rams in an intra-division matchup. While Seattle has been the class of its conference the last two years, the Rams have won two of the past three meetings in Missouri. Quarterback Nick Foles makes his debut for the home team against one of the league's best defenses – the unit, will miss Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor, though, who is still holding out for a new contract.

Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins

dolphins
Miami Dolphins Washington Redskins
redskins
0-0 (AFC East) 0-0 (NFC East)
1:00 PM ET (CBS)
FedEx Field, Landover MD

The third Patriots' division rival is the only one to play on the road on opening day. The Dolphins travel to Washington to take on the Redskins, who will start Kirk Cousins at quarterback today. Will the three-year veteran, who has started only nine NFL games, be able to consistently move his team's offense against a Dolphins defense that has added Ndamukong Suh in free agency? It would be a surprise if he did.

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Five more games will start between 4.05 and 4.25 p.m. ET:

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

saints
New Orleans Saints Arizona Cardinals
cardinals
0-0 (NFC South) 0-0 (NFC West)
4:05 PM ET (FOX)
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale AZ

The Saints, who held joint practice sessions with the Patriots this year, look to get back on track in the NFC South after a disappointing 2014 season. The same goes for the Cardinals, who had a good year in 2014 but were ultimately undone in part by numerous injuries. With the team and, among others, starting quarterback Carson Palmer back to full health, Arizona looks to make some early noise in its division.

Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers

Detroit Lions San Diego Chargers
chargers
0-0 (NFC North) 0-0 (AFC West)
4:05 PM ET (FOX)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA

While the Lions try to build off a relatively successful 2014, which saw the team enter the playoffs, but have to do so without standout defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Chargers, on the other hand, look to get back to the postseason in what projects to be a difficult AFC West.

Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

titans
Tennesse Titans Tampa Bay Buccaneers
buccaneers
0-0 (AFC South) 0-0 (NFC South)
4:25 PM ET (CBS)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL

The NFL's worst teams of 2014 face off as the Titans, who drafted number two overall, travel to Florida to face the Buccaneers, who drafted number one overall in May's draft. Of course, those two picks - Marcus Mariota on the Titans and Jameis Winston on the Buccaneers - are in the center of headlines and discussions surrounding their respective team's season opener.

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders

bengals
Cincinnati Bengals Oakland Raiders
raiders
0-0 (AFC North) 0-0 (AFC West)
4:25 PM ET (CBS)
O.co Coliseum, Oakland CA

Oakland tries to get back to relevancy behind second-year players Derek Carr and Khalil Mack as well as rookie receiver Amari Cooper. They start their season against the visiting Bengals, who try to get back to the playoffs in a difficult AFC North.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

Baltimore Ravens Denver Broncos
0-0 (AFC North) 0-0 (AFC West)
4:25 PM ET (CBS)
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver CO

Two 2014 playoff teams meet in Denver today as the Denver Broncos play host to the Baltimore Ravens. Former Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak enters his first year as head coach of the Broncos and tries to repeat the success he had in Baltimore.

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Finally, the last game will be played between two familiar opponents:

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

giants
New York Giants Dallas Cowboys
0-0 (NFC East) 0-0 (NFC East)
8:30 PM ET (NBC)
AT&T Stadium, Arlington TX

The third intra-division game of the day features the two longtime NFC East rivals. The Giants try to dethrone last year's division winning Cowboys, and a win in Texas would be a first step to do so. The Cowboys, on the other hand, almost made it to the NFC Championship in 2014. They will try to repeat last year's success without star running back DeMarco Murray.

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Enjoy today's games and discuss them below. Make sure to obey the ground rules:

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